Internet troll extraordinaire Maria Pereira strikes again! This time it’s over the role of the City Attorney’s office in choosing a new Bridgeport Board of Education attorney.
Conflict over this decision flared up at Thursday’s night’s Processing Committee meeting.
While there was still argument over whether to disqualify any attorney who has done work for the city, logic ultimately prevailed, with the board deciding to ask any attorneys applying for the job to disclose any connection to the city rather than flat out disqualifying firms.
Another conflict arose when City Attorney Mark Anastasi asked that the Request for Qualifications include language indicating that, according to the City Charter, he would have the final sign off on the board’s choice of attorney.
Of course, Chairwoman Sauda Baraka and Board Member Howard Gardner were combative, calling this measure “unnecessary.”
With the board “exploring” a possible lawsuit against the city, it doesn’t take much to figure out why Baraka and Gardner were against the measure—Just another case of prioritizing their disdain for Mayor Finch over the needs of the district.
Pereira left this comment on the Connecticut Post article on this issue:
“State law clearly states that the local Board of Education has sole discretion on it’s expenditures. Neither Mayor Finch, the City Council nor any city employee has any authority over expenditures. The only role Mayor Finch and the City Council has, is in the total appropriation. Once the appropriation is made, every financial and personnel decision is made by the BBOE or Superintendent. Mark Anastasi cannot tell the BOE what law firm they can hire because that is an expenditure paid for by the BOE. Let Mark Anastasi take you to court, he will lose.”
Considering she’s already threatening to sue the city, It comes as no surprise that Pereira would egg the board on to choose an attorney that Anastasi doesn’t approve of, only to challenge the city to sue the district… you know, rather than work together and avoid another costly lawsuit.
Though, before making threats, perhaps Pereira should actually read the City Charter, which states clearly that the City Attorney does have final say over the board’s chosen attorney:
“Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no board, commission, officer or department of city shall retain legal counsel to represent it in any matter without the approval of the city attorney.”
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